American cars once really were beauties as this piece of ephemera shows. There were diverse designs, elegance, style...not boxes that looked like tanks. The industry has done a lot of harm to itself. When the money crunchers took over control and kicked the design department to the side we ended up with behemoths with pinheads behind the wheels or small cars too ugly to want to spend a hard earned dime on. Sorry, they lost me the last time I went shopping for a car. At least I did get to experience the last hurrah of the 50s and 60s. You used to be able to tell what model a car was simply by seeing the silhouette.
This cover is from The Studebaker Wheel, July 1937. It cost 10 cents. 20 interior pages, including inside covers. Articles varied from yachting to "A Cop Looks At Motor Manners" written by Police Lieut. F. M. Kreml from Evanston, Illinois. I especially liked this:
"I don't believe that it is just plain 'orneriness' that makes us act as we do when driving. Certainly I don't believe that we are all sadists at heart, getting a big kick out of offending, scaring and even injuring other people.I prefer to believe that our tendency towards bad motor manners is merely part of the huge comedy that makes us human beings--and makes us careless and selfish....Sometimes you hear the remark, too, that people are just too dumb and slow-witted to learn how to operate anything which responds as quickly as the modern automobile. It is argued that people can walk without continually bumping into others, because of the thousands of years of practice they have had since their ancestors came down from the trees; but that it will take us hundreds of years at least to learn how to deport ourselves as instinctively orderly drivers.Yet, it has been my observation that few drivers really deserve a dunce cap. Rather, most accidents are the result of mere thoughtlessness on the part of driver and pedestrian. All of us have numerous friends who have driven five--ten--fifteen years or more with never an accident or at least never a serious accident. Those who have had accidents may be inclined to cal these clean records the result of better luck; but undoubtedly, if we check into the driving habits of people who had had no accidents, or very few accidents; and then check the minority--those who have had a series of accidents--we shall find important difference in driving habits."
Okay, this gentlemen never dreamed of Hummers with pinheads behind the wheel texting and drinking a double grande soy latte whatever while changing channels on their DVD player on the freeway. And just imagine if a car magazine today were to give any credence to Darwin's theory as this fellow did. We're talking massive boycotts.
I would actually look at this car and think, "Yeah, I can imagine myself behind the wheel traveling across country. I'd look good in this car." This car sold romance, not machismo or boredom.
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